England award three rookie deals to Alice Davidson-Richards, Katie George and Freya Davies
Plus, Beaumont and Taylor among five England players to switch KSL teams
By Kalika Mehta - @Journo_K
Last Updated: 08/03/18 4:39pm
England Women have awarded three players new rookie contracts, ahead of their tour to India.
Alice Davidson-Richards and Katie George, both of whom were called up to the national side for the first time on Wednesday, and Freya Davies have been given the deals, that add to the two-year central contracts 18 players already hold.
The deals will help with bridging the financial gap as the players spend more time training with the senior squad at the National Cricket Performance Centre, with Davidson-Richards explaining on Wednesday she had cut back to working as a personal trainer for just one day a week in order to spend Tuesday - Friday in Loughborough.
The 23-year-old all-rounder has won four County Championship titles with Kent, while seamer George lifted the Kia Super League title with the Southern Vipers in its inaugural season and Davies claimed the trophy with Western Storm in 2017 with all three players impressing senior management in recent months.
Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board have announced five England players will be moving teams for this year's KSL, with 12 matches from the tournament being shown live on Sky Sports.
World Cup player of the tournament and Surrey Stars opener Tammy Beaumont will play for Southern Vipers, after former captain Charlotte Edwards retired last summer.
Spinner Alex Hartley has also moved from the Stars to Lancashire Thunder while wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor goes in the opposite direction to the London side.
There is also a straight swap for Yorkshire Diamonds all-rounder Jenny Gunn and Loughborough Lightning bowler Beth Langston.
Attendances for the only professional domestic women's cricket tournament in England rose by 44 per cent in its second year and the KSL begins on 22 July in 2018, with standalone group games being shown on Sky for the first time.
Talking about the team news, KSL general manager Jo Kirk said: "The latest player movements are to ensure the best balance between the six sides.
"It also maintains a fair and competitive competition with the over-arching principle of trying to ensure a best versus best competition."
Live KIA SUPER LEAGUE women's cricket fixtures on Sky:
Sunday, July 22
Western Storm v Yorkshire Diamonds (Taunton)
Wednesday, July 25
Southern Vipers v Loughborough Lightning (Ageas Bowl)
Friday, July 27
Yorkshire Diamonds v Lancashire Thunder (Headingley)
Sunday, July 29
Western Storm v Loughborough Lightning (Taunton)
Tuesday, July 31
Surrey Stars v Lancashire Thunder (Oval)
Tuesday, August 7
Lancashire Thunder v Surrey Stars (Old Trafford)
Wednesday, August 8
Southern Vipers v Yorkshire Diamonds (Ageas Bowl)
Tuesday, August 14
Southern Vipers v Surrey Stars (Hove)
Wednesday, August 15
Loughborough Lightning v Western Storm (Edgbaston)
Saturday, August 18
Monday, August 27
Kia Super League Finals Day (Hove)